Press release by British Embassy, Madrid Brits urged to take out travel insurance as hospitalisation cases soar Holidaymakers and their families face risk of huge bills if visitors lack insurance or invalidate their policies New report reveals Spain has highest number of hospitalised Brits worldwide More than 1,100 cases of Brits ending up in hospital were reported to consular staff in Spain last year, according to a new report from the Foreign Office. The number is equivalent to 20 hospitalisations in Spain every week, and represents nearly a third of the total number of cases around the world. The figures come from the annual British Behaviour Abroad report for the period 1 April 2011 - 31 March 2012. In the Balearics, the number of reported cases has soared. Over the last two years (since 2009/10), Mallorca has seen a 132% increase in hospitalisations, and Ibiza a 40% rise. Many of these cases involve teenage holidaymakers. Common causes are road accidents, balcony incidents and heart attacks. Meanwhile Malaga has seen a 45% increase over the last year alone. Jeremy Browne, Minister for Consular Services, said: "Whilst the prospect of ending up in a foreign hospital may be the last thing on your mind as you head overseas for a summer break, sometimes things do go wrong on holiday and many people deeply regret not taking out comprehensive travel insurance. "We also witness many cases where people have invalidated their policy – perhaps by not declaring a pre-existing medical condition or not checking their policy covers a particular activity, such as hiring a moped. Unfortunately they are then surprised that the Foreign Office cannot pay for their bills and flight home. "I urge anyone heading overseas this summer to research their destination, take out comprehensive travel insurance, and carefully check the small print of their policy." New research by the Foreign Office reveals that nearly half (48%) of all Brits fail to realise that without travel insurance they will have to pay their own medical bills if injured or taken ill abroad. An emergency can be extremely expensive - medical treatment can cost thousands of pounds, whilst medical repatriation to the UK can cost even more. Consular staff in Spain have witnessed distressing cases involving families having to raise vast sums of money to pay hospital and repatriation bills. The research also reveals that nearly four out of five (78%) people would lack the ready cash to pay £10,000 to cover the hospital bills of an uninsured loved one abroad. Visitors to Spain, and British residents who may be hosting them, should remember three key things: · Buy comprehensive travel insurance – avoid a life-changing bill · Read the small print – don't invalidate your policy by mistake · Get an EHIC card – it's a 'holiday essential' for any state medical treatment you might need while visiting, but it doesn't cover everything. A British Embassy spokesperson said: "An EHIC is free and simple to obtain. Getting one could save you a lot of grief. If you don't have one, it could make a tricky situation even harder. Then buy travel insurance and for the cost of a meal in a restaurant you should be fully covered against expensive health-related bills and other risks. It's not worth it to be without." Reported hospitalisation cases by Consulate in Spain: Consulate 2010 - 2011 2011- 2012 % change Alicante 140 126 -10% Barcelona 73 50 -32% Ibiza 176 239 +35% Las Palmas (Canaries) 73 68 -7% Madrid 56 47 -8% Malaga 114 166 +45% Palma (Mallorca) 297 307 +3% Tenerife 95 102 +7% TOTAL 1024 1105 +8% The total number of consular assistance cases in Spain last year rose more than 8% to 5405 cases. These included 1105 hospitalisations (up 8%), 1909 arrests (up 9%) and 40 cases of rape or sexual assault (down 22%). Some 13.6 million Britons visited Spain last year and an estimated 800,000 Britons are resident here. For details on how the Foreign Office can help if you get into trouble abroad, visit www.fco.gov.uk/travel
Press release from British Embassy, Madrid New Residency Requirements for EU citizens planning to live in Spain for more than three months The Spanish Government has introduced new residency requirements for all EU citizens – including Britons – who plan to reside in Spain for more than three months. Under the new rules, EU citizens applying for residency in Spain may be required to produce evidence of sufficient financial means to support themselves (and dependants). Applicants may also be asked for proof of private or public healthcare insurance. The Ministerial Order sets out the new requirements and some of the documentation applicants may be asked to present. A British Embassy (and therefore unofficial) translation with more detailed information is available on the UKinSpain website. All EU citizens planning to reside in Spain continue to need to register in person at the Oficina de Extranjeros (Foreigners Office) in their province of residence or at designated Police stations. More information is available on the Ministry of the Interior’s website.
A couple of years ago my wife's mother died, she lived in Javea for 30 year. She left my wife money that is in a local Bank. The local notaire has completed all the necessary paper work and passed it to the Bank and the Bank are just not paying out! The notaire seems to be ineffectual - can anyone suggest any line of 'attack' I could take. We live in Brittany France and will be coming down to Javea in September for a month. Andrew
Hi can anyone explain what Plus Valia is and who has to pay it please? I always understood that this was tax paid on the "profit" made from the sale of a property, but if the property is sold for less than the buying price (at a loss) then i would have thought that this tax would not be paid? Thanks
British Embassy Press Release: Crimestoppers seek citizens’ help in Spain and Morocco to arrest suspected murderer of a British family British national Anxiang Du is wanted in connection with the brutal murder of Mr and Mrs Ding and their two teenage daughters in their home in Northamptonshire in 2011. Today, in Madrid, Detective Chief Inspector Tom Davies from Northamptonshire Police called on citizens to assist Crimestoppers and Law Enforcement agencies in the search for Anxiang Du who is believed to be hiding in northern Morocco, having travelled there from southern Spain.On Friday 29 April 2011, Jifeng ‘Jeff’ Ding, his wife Ge ‘Helen’ Chui and their two daughters Xing 18 years old and Alice 12 years old were brutally murdered in the home in Northampton. The suspected murderer Anxiang Du, 53 from Coventry was declared the only suspect soon after the discovery of the murders and has since evaded capture.At a press conference in the British Embassy in Madrid, Detective Chief Inspector Tom Davies, leading the investigation, said: “We acknowledged at an early stage that Anxiang Du had the opportunity to leave the UK soon after the murders, in the 3 to 4 day period before he was declared a suspect.We now know that Anxiang Du left the UK soon after the homicides and travelled from Victoria bus station, London on a bus to Paris, Gallieni. After this he travelled through France into Spain (again probably by using public transport). His final known journey was to Algeciras in Spain where he caught a ferry to Tangier, Morocco.We believe that having made his way to Morocco, Mr Du may still be in the Tangier area. As a fugitive, he may take any opportunity to flee, using the routes or countries he is familiar with. We know that Du has previously spent time in Spain and is comfortable in the country.We have been working with the police and law enforcement agencies in Spain and Morocco and they are in possession of the required extradition papers, should Mr Du be located and arrested. This should mean that he can then be brought back to the UK to stand trial.We have also been working with and the Serious and Organised Crime Agency (SOCA), Interpol and CPS International to ensure we have the support of the International Law Enforcement Agencies who are currently focused on locating Anxiang Du.I would like to thank Spanish and Moroccan law enforcement authorities for their support and collaboration in the operation to locate and detain Mr Du. We are now asking members of the public who are or will be using the ferries from Algeciras to Tangier during the Campaña del Paso de Estrecho to be aware of our manhunt, together with up to £25,000 reward available in the UK for information leading to his arrest and conviction. We would ask members of the public to contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 900 555 111 from Spain, so that we can bring justice to the families of the victims. Alternatively people can also contact their local police if they have any information.” On Sunday 25 March, three UK Police officers travelled to China with the aim of speaking with associates of the suspect for any information they may have in identifying people who could have assisted Du in his escape. The trip to China also afforded the force the opportunity to meet the family of the victims, update them on the investigation and pass on the force’s deepest sympathies for their loss, in person. Recent developments in the case saw the arrest of four people last week, on suspicion of conspiracy to assist an offender. They were all released on bail pending further enquiries.Link to photos http://www.flickr.com/photos/ukinspain
British Embassy Madrid press release: Britons urged to avoid taking risks with the law – arrests in Spain rise 9% last year Alcohol-related incidents cause concern Around half of those arrested under the age of 34 New figures reveal that between April 2011 and March 2012, British Consulates in Spain handled 1,909 arrests cases involving British nationals, a 9% increase on the previous year. The total included 141 arrests for drugs offences. The figures are part of a worldwide increase of 6% in Britons arrested overseas, with a total of 6,015 cases against 5,700 in the previous year. Drug arrests worldwide increased by 2%, with the FCO handling 816 cases. Minister of State for Consular Affairs, Jeremy Browne, said: "It is important that people understand that taking risks abroad can land them on the wrong side of the law. The punishments can be very severe, with tougher prison conditions than in the UK. Whilst we will work hard to try and ensure the safety of British nationals abroad, we cannot interfere in another country’s legal system. "We find that many people are shocked to discover that the FCO cannot get them out of jail. We always provide Consular support to British nationals in difficulty overseas. However, having a British passport does not make you immune to foreign laws and will not get you special treatment in prison." The statistics, released in advance of the full British Behaviour Abroad report next month, show that Spain and the USA continue to show the highest cases of arrests, with Spain showing a 9% increase on the previous year. Anecdotal evidence from Embassies and Consulates suggests many incidents are alcohol-fuelled, particularly in popular destinations such as the Canary Islands, mainland Spain and the Balearic Islands, as well as Malta and Cyprus. Consular staff around the world spend 35% of their time handling cases of Britons who have been arrested or imprisoned. Many have unrealistic expectations of what the FCO can do for them and Brits – particularly youngsters about to embark on summer holidays – should think hard about the consequences of running into trouble with the law. David Thomas, Consular Regional Director for Spain, said: "The police on Mallorca and Ibiza have a zero tolerance attitude towards alcohol-fuelled offences and we see many young people being arrested for causing trouble outside bars and clubs at night. "All too often they think they’ll spend the night in a cell sleeping off their hangover before being let out in the morning. They soon sober up when they realise their British passport does not grant them immunity and they’re alone in a foreign prison cell, unsure of when they’ll be released and unable to speak to officers because they don’t speak the language. "It’s particularly sad to see younger people throwing away years of their lives, often as a result of a risky decision made in the heat of the moment and after a few too many drinks. Not only can you end up with a criminal record but the effects on your family can be devastating." The Consulate in Palma, Mallorca saw the largest increase in arrests last year, while Alicante continues to have the highest total. Drug arrests are greatest on Ibiza (46) and in the Malaga area (34). Consulate Arrests 2010/11 Arrests 2011/12 Percentage change Alicante 507 554 +9% Barcelona 55 63 +15% Ibiza 179 193 +8% Las Palmas 168 184 +10% Madrid 115 103 -10% Malaga 394 380 -4% Palma 195 320 +64% Tenerife 134 112 -16% TOTAL 1747 1909 +9%
We have been advised that the property price on our escritura may be incorrect to enable avoidance of tax by the seller and, if that is the case, that it may have to be re-issued. However, we have since heard that once the escritura has been signed by all parties in the presence of the notario then no changes can be made and the price as shown is the price paid. Has anyone had a similar experience? We are looking for the legislation on this but have been unable to find anything. Can anyone help please?
Press Release from British Consulate Alicante “Don’t let a lost passport ruin your holiday!” New video clip for use on news and community websites launched by British Consulates Losing your passport will cost you time, cost you money and could ruin your holiday. That’s the message from the network of British Consulates in Spain who between them handle more than 4,000 lost passport cases every year. For the unfortunate passport holder that usually means a journey to the nearest consulate, time spent making an application for an Emergency Travel Document, and a fee of over 100 Euros. So, keeping your passport safe will save you hassle and expense, and avoid you wasting precious holiday time. In order to help British passport holders, the consular network in Spain has produced a short video giving advice on how to keep your passport safe and reduce the risks of having it stolen. Paul Rodwell, British Consul in Alicante, said “We want to help holidaymakers and prevent passports from getting lost or stolen. This new video is an innovative way of getting across some simple steps to keep your passport safe and prevent your holiday getting ruined. “We want as many people as possible to see this video, so we’re asking members of the British community in Spain to share it as widely as possible – in Spain and back home in the UK. It doesn’t matter if you’re embedding it in your website, including it in a blog posting, or simply sharing it via Twitter or Facebook. We hope that by distributing the video through our community, we can reduce the number of Brits who suffer the stress and expense of a lost or stolen passport.” Thomas Cook is already planning to use the video casts to show to an estimated 60,000 British tourists this year. The resort manager in the Costa Blanca, Anne Mountney said “The video clip is a great tool which we at Thomas Cook can use to remind all of our customers when they first arrive about the importance of taking care of their passport while they are on holiday. It points out the inconvenience and cost that it can cause to them should they lose it. This should act as great preventative tool to decrease the number of passports lost or stolen by our customers and allow them to have a hassle free holiday.” The video can be found on YouTube using the search term ‘Lose your passport, lose your holiday - Spain’ and was produced by the local television company, Viva TV. And just in case… Recognising that some people may still lose their passport or have it stolen, the Consulates have produced a second video podcast that provides a step-by-step guide of what to do. This video can be found on YouTube using the search term ‘Getting an Emergency Travel Document’.
For everyone who is totally fed-up with people defrauding other UK taxpayers by stealing UK benefits whilst living in Spain, some great news at long last.If you know of such a UK Benefits thief, you can now report them, anonymously, by filling in a simple form, here:https://secure.dwp.gov.uk/benefitfraud/These criminals, who are continually stealing from you and all other honest taxpayers, will only be stopped if you help to stop them.
Press release issued by the DWP in the UK With summer approaching, Iain Duncan Smith, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, is sending a warning to people who commit benefit fraud abroad. In a visit to the DWP’s Pension, Benefits & Healthcare team in Madrid, Iain Duncan Smith warned British people living abroad not to break the strict rules on what benefits they can and can't claim. He also urged law-abiding Brits to use the dedicated Spanish fraud hotline to report benefit thieves. People who are pretending to live in the UK to claim benefits, but are actually living overseas cost the taxpayer an estimated £43 million last year. More allegations of people living in Spain whilst continuing to receive UK benefits are received than for any other foreign country, making Spain the number one country for abroad fraud. Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Iain Duncan Smith said: “We are determined to clamp down on benefit fraud abroad, which cost the British taxpayer around £43 million last year. This money should be going to the people who need it most and not lining the pockets of criminals sunning themselves overseas. The vast majority of British people overseas are law abiding, but fraudulently claiming benefits while living abroad is a crime and we are committed to putting a stop to it.” Since its launch in 2008, over 750 calls to the Spanish hotline have resulted in criminal investigations by fraud investigators in the UK and over 100 people have been sanctioned or prosecuted. 134 cases are currently being investigated and £3.1 million in benefit over payments have been identified and will be reclaimed. The small Pension, Benefit & Healthcare team based in Spain provide support to the estimated 1million Britons living there. They work with the Spanish Authorities on behalf of the DWP and Department of Health to prevent and detect benefit fraud, ensure correct access to the Spanish healthcare system, and combat misuse of the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). Abroad fraud involves a range of scams such as people on means-tested benefits going abroad but failing to declare their absence, undeclared property abroad, and individuals working while claiming sickness benefits. In Spain, claims for Income Support or Pension Credit are the most frequently investigated for fraud. If you suspect someone of benefit fraud in Spain you can call Benefit Fraud Hotline in Spain on: 900 554 440 or you can report a thief online via: www.dwp.gov.uk/benefit-thieves
can anyone tell me who would own a wall that runs beside a road. Aliilte more info, we live in the campo half way along a short road that comes to an end at orange groves. All the houses are on the opposite side of the road to a wall that has become dangerousa and the road is now slipping down a bank. Below the wall are three propeties olives groves and other land. All the area below the wall is owned by three Brits who do not live here and no longer even visit. We think the wall the responsiblity of these three as it is only a boundary to their property. Doe sanyone have any ideas or know who could help us with this. thnak you
I would really appreciate help from people on this subject.Last night my bank debit card was robbed in Peru and yes I am in Spain.I did not lose or misplace my card and how this happened is anyone's guess.I received 2 text messages from my bank which is normal when a transaction is made for over 200.This was approx 9.45 pm. I was stunned to say the least and checked my on line banking to double check and yes before my eyes money was disappear.I tried in vain for 4 if not more hours to contact my bank. I rang half the world and could not do a simple task on the phone to cancel my card.Eventually I emailed my bank at local office and also every branch for whom I found an email address.Seemingly my bank does not have a night service.Its hard to explain how frustrated I was and people reading this may have experience of it but I never experienced anything like this before as it never happened to me and I am not young.I was contacted this morning and told that my card was cancelled.I went to my local branch and the response was not at all helpful,I obtained the help of a translator and went to Police to report theft but they need a detailed statement from Bank with times,dates. location of use etc before they can do a report.I again contacted my bank and yes MANANA. Earlier at the branch I said it was unusual not to have an emergency night service and was curtly told that they too have to sleep.I am in bits. I don't know what I'M doing, my head is everywhere. I was so afraid to check this morning in case every penny I had was gone but thankfully and to the best of my knowledge 1500 is whats been taken.I never ever lose or leave my card out of sight.I only use it to deduct cash and a very rare occasion at supermarket.I would love some advise please. Thank you.
British Embassy Press Release: Potential buyers of property in Spain were today (21st March) warned to avoid cutting corners when purchasing a home or holiday apartment. Estate agents, lawyers and property developers who offer ways to save money and speed up the Spanish conveyancing system may lead to purchasers ending up with hugely expensive headaches later on, the British Embassy warned. Despite the well-known problems facing thousands of past purchasers of property in Spain, the Embassy is aware that there are still property industry representatives who are trying to tempt future buyers with apparently attractive methods to secure their dream homes more quickly or cheaply. Such offers may in fact be very bad value. "You should exercise extreme caution if an estate agent, promoter or lawyer urges you to cut corners to save money or time", said Embassy property adviser Alex Brown. "The Spanish property conveyancing system is different to the UK. When you choose an estate agent, promoter or lawyer to help with your purchase, check that they are qualified, reliable professionals and have significant experience of operating in Spain and expert knowledge of how the system works." Although the vast majority of British property owners enjoy life in Spain and have had no problems, thousands of British expats are facing some kind of legal problem with their homes, some because they were advised to cut corners during the purchasing process. Many others are facing difficulties through no fault of their own, caught up in the complexities of Spanish planning regulations. "There is a wealth of information on the Embassy's UKinSpain website", said Alex Brown. "We strongly urge people to check the advice in full, make sure they use fully qualified, reputable advisers throughout the purchase process, and avoid any kind of 'dodgy deal' that could end up costing huge amounts of heartache and hard-earned money later on." Further Embassy advice on buying property in Spain can be found on the UKinSpain website at: http://ukinspain.fco.gov.uk/en/help-for-british-nationals/living-in-spain/property-in-spain. Other useful links for potential property purchasers: Advice on buying a property on the UKinSpain website Advice on UKinSpain for those who have encountered problems with their properties The Spanish Government's guide to buying a property in Spain